Sunday, October 9, 2011

Who should be golf's world #1?

This weekend I had the pleasure of being on Danielle Tucker's The Golf Club Radio Show.  It was fun, but I have to admit, I feel a lot more comfortable being behind a microphone than in front of one.  I wasn't sure what she would ask me, so it was impossible to prepare.

I should have known how things would go when she started off the interview with "Let's have some fun." Haha...needlesstosay, she proceeded to push all the right hot buttons and got me ranting and raving about women's golf, long putters and slow play.

When I hung up the phone, I was still in a feisty mood, so I decided to write about another topic that gets me hot and bothered - the big debate on who should be the #1 golfer in the world.

IMHO (along with the International Federation of PGA Tours), there is no question about it - Luke Donald is the best player in the world.


I know I know....he hasn't won a major (YET!), but Donald has won three times this year (one of which was a World Golf Championship) and his stats speak for themselves.

Donald leads the tour in:
  • Top 10 finishes (13/18)
  • Money list on both the PGA and European Tours (the only player EVER to do that)
  • Strokes gained - putting
  • Scoring Average

Luke played well week after week to climb his way up to the top of the world rankings the hard way; as of this posting, he's held that position for 19 weeks.

And... he did it all without using a long putter (Sorry, I had to get that dig in, Phil, Adam, Keegan... ;)).

He may not have the power of Dustin Johnson, the creativity of Phil or the killer instinct of Tiger, but he has a game of which none of those players are familiar - the game of consistency.

I'd put money (if I had any ;)) on Luke winning a major next year and I see many more over his career.

Meanwhile, Tiger (who has more talent in his baby finger than any player in the world) will not win enough majors to beat Jack's record. Okay I said it.  You can beat me up in the comments.  It's not that I don't want him to win, but he's not doing the right things to get there.  And time is not on his side.

What's wrong with Tiger is not his swing.  If it was, we would still see his wondrous wedge play and putting prowess.  Sure he made a few good shots at the Fry's, but seriously...we're talking Tiger playing in a less than stellar field and still only tied for 30th.

Tiger's problem is one he can't fix with coach changes, swing changes and caddie changes...  The only thing that will allow Tiger to return to his greatness is a change from within.  Arnie said it this weekend on GC.  And who can argue with the King?

Talent is a terrible thing to waste.  Luke's making the most of his; Tiger isn't.  And if Tiger doesn't take a good look in the mirror and see where the real problem lies, he'll never be able to fix what's fundamentally wrong with his game.

And here you can beat me up again, but I honestly  believe that if Tiger continues down this path of thinking that swing changes will turn things around, he will win a few more tournaments and maybe another major, but he won't achieve what he's really capable of.   And that would sadly make Tiger Woods the biggest underachiever golf's ever seen.

Golfgal

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